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Antenatal glucocorticoids reduce growth in appropriately grown and growth-restricted ovine fetuses in a sex-specific manner.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22697125     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Antenatal glucocorticoids are administered to mature the fetal lungs before preterm birth. Glucocorticoids also have non-pulmonary effects, including reducing fetal body and brain growth. The present study examined whether glucocorticoid administration has a sex-specific effect on growth in appropriately grown (control) and intrauterine growth-restricted (IUGR) fetal sheep. IUGR was induced at 0.7 gestation in fetal sheep by single umbilical artery ligation. On Days 5 and 6 after surgery, IUGR or control fetuses were exposed to the synthetic glucocorticoid betamethasone (BM; 11.4mg) or saline via intramuscular maternal administration. On Day 7, a postmortem was conducted to determine fetal sex and weight. Compared with control fetuses, the birthweight of male and female IUGR fetuses was significantly reduced (by 18.5±4.4% (P=0.002) and 21.7±6.0% (P=0.001), respectively). Maternal administration of BM significantly reduced bodyweight in both control and IUGR fetuses (by 11.3±2.8% and 20.5±3.6% in control male and female fetuses, respectively; and by 22.9±3.1% and 38.3±3.4% in IUGR male and female fetuses, respectively; P<0.001 for all, versus control+saline) fetuses. In control and IUGR animals the degree of growth restriction was greater in females than males (P<0.05) following administration of BM. These data suggest that antenatal glucocorticoids reduce fetal growth in a sex-specific manner, with females more growth restricted than males.
Suzanne L Miller; Amy E Sutherland; Veena G Supramaniam; David W Walker; Graham Jenkin; Euan M Wallace
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Reproduction, fertility, and development     Volume:  24     ISSN:  1031-3613     ISO Abbreviation:  Reprod. Fertil. Dev.     Publication Date:  2012 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-06-15     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8907465     Medline TA:  Reprod Fertil Dev     Country:  Australia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  753-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
The Ritchie Centre, Monash Institute of Medical Research, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3168, Australia.
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